Radio Sandwell Sport

Serena Williams and Laura Robson out of Wimbledon

2013-07-01 17:42:28

Laura Robson and Serena Williams

Defending champion Serena Williams and Britain's Laura Robson were both knocked at the fourth round stage of this year's Wimbledon.

World number one Serena Williams saw her winning streak and hopes of a sixth Wimbledon title end with a shock defeat by Germany's Sabine Lisicki, losing 6-2 1-6 6-4 on Centre Court. Whilst Laura Robson was beaten by Estonian, Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 on Court One.

Williams joins leading names Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in making an early exit at what has been a tournament of stunning upsets.

It was only the third defeat in the last year for Williams, and ends her career-best winning run of 34 matches, but she insisted afterwards: "It's not a shock.

"She plays really good on grass. She has a massive, massive serve, so going in there you have to know that it's definitely not going to be an easy match playing her at Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court.

"It's definitely not a shock. I just need to do better."

Lisicki moves on to the quarter-finals for the fourth time and in each of those Wimbledon campaigns she has beaten the French Open champion.

Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki was overcome with emotion after beating
Serena Williams

The 2011 Wimbledon semi-finalist was overcome with emotion after a famous win and struggled to hold back the tears during a television interview.

"I'm still shaking, I am so happy," she told BBC Sport.

"Serena played fantastically all match. She is such a tough opponent. It's just an amazing feeling to win this match.

"The crowd were amazing, thanks to them for their support. They were amazing. I love this court so much, it's such a special place for me."

Lisicki's record on grass, based around the second-biggest serve in women's tennis, meant she had always looked among the most likely candidates to challenge Williams.

The 23-year-old from Troisdorf fought off four break points and took advantage of a rash of Williams unforced errors as she broke twice to win the opening set.

Williams, 31, was not about to go quietly and roared back in the second, winning 14 points in a row at one stage and not making a single unforced error as she levelled, winning it 6-1.

The American was on a roll and did not need any luck but from 40-0 down, two net cords helped her to an early break in the decider.

When Williams racked up her ninth straight game to move 3-0 clear, it was turning into a procession, but Lisicki stuck to her task.

The German got the better of three breaks in a row as she fought back from 4-2 down, thrilling the 15,000 spectators on Centre Court.

Williams had been in the ascendancy for well over an hour, but at 4-4 in the final set she found herself facing break points and, stretched to the limit, the champion could not control a smash, which flew over the baseline.

One more service game was required by Lisicki, and it was never likely to be straightforward.

After being pegged back to 30-30, she blasted long on her first match point and double-faulted to offer up a break point for Williams, but the German's serve came to her rescue.

When a second chance to clinch the win of her life arrived, Lisicki played a fearless rally, pounding away from the baseline until Williams could no longer cover the gaps and had to watch as a forehand flew past her.

"I felt that I was on the verge of winning," Williams added. "I felt really good and really confident.

"At that point I just was physically unable to hold serve. My first serve percentage was going down.

"For me, I have to be able to serve well, especially on this court, and especially going up against such a really, really strong server like Sabine."

Robson

On Court One Laura Robson was bidding to become the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals at SW19 since Jo Durie in 1984.

However, Robson lost the first-set tie-break having been 5-2 ahead and was broken at 5-5 in the second.

Robson, 19, saved four match points as her rival started to creak on serve but Kanepi converted the fifth.

Robson was the first British woman to make the second week at Wimbledon since Sam Smith in 1998.

But the world number 38 showed few signs of nerves early on, opening up with a love service game and forcing a break point with the score at 1-1, which Kanepi saved.

Robson carved out three more break points at 4-4 and converted the second courtesy of a searing forehand winner.

However, with Robson serving for the first set the nerves set in. Her serve having been solid up until then, she opened up the game with a first double fault before handing Kanepi the break with an errant forehand.

Robson, ranked eight places higher than her opponent, raced into a 5-2 lead in the subsequent tie-break only to tighten up again.

She framed a second serve into the bottom of the net to make the score 5-5 and, while she managed to find a huge forehand return to save one set point, Kanepi sealed the set in 49 minutes when Robson missed with an attempted pass.

The Court One crowd struggled to conceal its disappointment but Robson settled early in the second set, winning her first two service games comfortably.

However, Kanepi, a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist, was also serving well and doing a good job of moving Robson around the court.

With the score locked at 3-3 in the second set Robson showed some grit, pulling out two aces to save two break points.

But Kanepi carved out three break points at 5-5 and only needed one of them, Robson netting with a return.

Robson dug in again to save two match points before Kanepi started to creak, sending down a double fault as Robson saved again.

Robson saved a fourth match point but Kanepi finally sealed a last-eight encounter against either Serena Williams or Sabine Lisicki with a fine forehand winner.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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